Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

4.3
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478 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, opened in 1976, was the first Bookstore/Cafe in the country to feature Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch & Late Supper as well as offering complete bar service, 18 drafts and wine by the glass and bottle. Since its inception, it has established itself as "Washington's pre-eminent café.'

' From The Washington Post: "The action at Kramerbooks & Afterwords starts with breakfast and the morning papers at 7:30 AM, and keeps throbbing until well after midnight, 7 days a week, complete with indoor and sidewalk cafes, a full-service bar and live entertainment. The sounds are diverting, the smells are delicious, the sights are tempting."

What 478 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Palm Springs
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Definitely not a recommendation or repeat restaurant. Still ended up waiting for a table 15-20 minutes after the reservation time. Drinks were very slow getting to the table and waters were never refilled. Requested cooking cornbeef hash little more and was served burnt.

OT
Mississippi
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was wonderful!!! Excellent mimosas. Super cute little cafe!

JT
New England
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Crab omelette was exceptional.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 10 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to Kramerbooks for a farewell lunch with some coworkers. I love the idea of having a full restaurant inside of a bookstore. The waitstaff was quick, amazingly attentive, and very kind, and the food was fantastic. I ordered the crab cake sandwich and it was easily top three of all crab cakes I’ve had, which is saying a lot when you live this close to the Chesapeake. Highly recommend, would definitely go again, and might even purchase a book as well next time!

NY
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Disappointed with food, it was blah. My niece had the poker and didn’t like the sausages or bacon. Quality was not good.

OT
1 review
Dined on 25 September 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I absolutely never review places. I am a server myself and know how reviews can be frustrating to read. But I came with my friend for her birthday and the service was terrible. We ordered appetizers and entrees yet both came out at the same time. They were placed on the table and we were not given the opportunity to question their arrival. Our server never checks back in with us. Not once. We had to call someone over. My entree got cold and soggy I could not eat it. My friend ran out of water. We would have ordered more drinks and dessert even, but being completely ignored makes that impossible. The service needs some serious work. A two bite check would have been enough.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on 29 September 2019

Hello, please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom to discuss this.

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LD
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We visited a little later in the evening and it was wonderful! I like bed the pow pow chicken and the Mac and cheese! Our server was the best!

HB
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

I definitely would recommend Kramer’s to a friend. Particularly the Kramer’s burger. Holy moly!

MP
19 reviews
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Had what was listed as a Cuban sandwich; although they used pork, that was as close as it got. Amount of pork was also disappointing. Service was rushed, to say the least. Outdoor table was very loud.

H
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 17 September 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Typical DC, crazy-big portions , high prices. Waiter did not offer us daily specials menu, I discovered when neighboring table got that. Getting bill took forever. Smaller portions at half the price, and I might be back. Noisy, hot sun streaming in. Not a quiet calm place for weekday lunch.

C
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 15 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Meh. Not as good as I had hoped. Went here for lunch before visiting an exhibit nearby, and were seated inside (even though I requested a table outside, and there were plenty of tables available). It took quite a while for a server to come and take our order, including water While waiting for the food, I asked our waitress if we could switch to a table outside because it was really loud inside. She said she'll move is in a moment. Our food came, and one of my orders -that was supposed to come out before the main course- was forgotten. We were able to relocate to a table outside though, which was great. The food was all right. My boyfriend had the eggs benedict and said they were average. I had the duck confit salad. The duck was good, but the frisee was overdressed, almost soggy, and it was rather haphazardly slapped on the plate. The buttermilk biscuits were really good though.

AB
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

Hot food, pot pie, was cold, coffee was cold; service was excellent in fixing errors but it took awhile as place was busy.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

Poached eggs were overcooked. Benedict was supposed to served on a homemade biscuits but came on toasted burger buns. Horrible for not being busy.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on 5 September 2019

Hello Mike, we also responded to your Yelp review. Please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom to discuss.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

There for book festival Will go again. Piped in music outside too distracting.

MS
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 3

The portion sizes have decreased significantly since I was last there, there were out of both of our dessert choices, the service was underwhelming, they shoved us in a tight corner, the bathroom was out of order, and both of our dishes lacked much flavor, especially for the price. All in all, a disappointment for a place I’d hyped up to my guest.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on 28 August 2019

Hello, please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom to discuss your visit.

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K
New England
8 reviews
Dined on 20 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We enjoyed crab cake appetizer, crab cake salad and spring salad with chicken. Food was fresh and service friendly. When we’re in DC again we’ll stop by the bookstore and cafe. Worth a visit!

p
Washington DC
57 reviews
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My friend and I had not been to Afterwords for awhile, so decided to see if it is still as good as we remembered. It was--we both enjoyed our meals, both very good (a pasta dish and the duck salad, plus shared chimichangas to start). Because we were on the early side (around 5 pm), it wasn't crowded and noisy (always a plus). Definitely a neighborhood gem, and fun to browse the bookstore too.

AJ
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 4 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was great and our server was very nice. The one hiccup to our experience was that the hostess and (I'm guessing title here) manager were arguing when I checked in. If there is a staffing issue, please do not do it on the floor in sight of customers and other employees.

TS
1 review
Dined on 3 August 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Smaller portion without a price to match, food was mediocre but service was excellent, cool little place

NW
Houston
11 reviews
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Good food, but inconsistent from visit to visit. Service was really off on all 3 of our visits. But still one of our favorites when in DC.

F
1 review
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friend and I have been searching for bookstore cafes in DC and heard so many good things about Kramerbooks. Since there were only 2 of us, we got tucked in a back corner with a view of the dining area. It was adorably cute, yet spacious and wasn’t too loud. The service and food were excellent! Although some things are a bit pricy, I think it’s worth every dollar!

LE
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on 15 July 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Had not been here for a couple of years and decided to give it a go and re-live all the goodness and fond memories the place conjured. It was all just sadly disappointing. Many people that I was with liked their meals, but there were some issues I had (and I am not the kind of person that has issues at every restaurant I go to...). I ordered the steak sand with chimichurri, medium well at a cost of $17. It arrived on the plate as a open roll with 3 pieces of lettuce with Caesar dressing (tasted good) and 4 pieces of lame beef chunks, with a fab of sauce. Zero presentation and not at all appealing. Taste of the meat was ok and then I hit the piece of meat that was rare. Disappointing. I wish I could have had a better experience, as with the one I had I am sure I won’t be going back again.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on 22 July 2019

Hello, it is a shame that you did not enjoy your meal like the rest of your party. Please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom to discuss.

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MJ
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on 13 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We enjoyed an early Sunday morning breakfast here before walking around the DuPont Circle area. The food was delicious.

J
New Orleans
12 reviews
Dined on 9 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service.

SC
1 review
Dined on 27 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved the setting of the restaurant through the bookstore! Server was excellent - just the right amount of hovering, and helpful w/choices and special requests. Evidently, the Kramer Burger is very popular since many passed our table on the way to others' tables. The apple dessert looked huge and scrumptious so would return for it and coffee, esp. since it was offered w/cinnamon ice cream as well as vanilla. We enjoyed the music on a Thursday evening, so would go back for food and listening again, browsing the books before or after. Nachitos weren't as tasty as they looked, but looking forward to getting the Spring Salad next time.

a
New England
16 reviews
Dined on 25 June 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Its a unique and fun place but perhaps a bit overrated. Its getting a bit tired too.

J
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on 23 June 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I like this restaurant but my meat and potatoes husband did not. The food is very spicy. The desserts are so so and vary in size. The staff/service is lovely. I would say the menu is more female oriented- kale etc. So think of who you are going with before you go. Also not a full bar.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on 1 July 2019

Hello, we appreciate your feedback. Our menu includes numerous steak and meat dishes. We also have a full bar. Please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom to discuss.

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AJ
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 23 June 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

portions were small but the food was very good. i had ordered a hasselback potato as a side which was very tasty but it did not meet the definition of hasselback - it was a regular baked potato.

JB
1 review
Dined on 21 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very enjoyable restaurant and book store. Love the atmosphere,

p
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on 19 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food, good service, space is a bit cramped but not too bad

W
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on 16 June 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

Our service was terribly slow, the coffee was not good, the bloody Mary was weak and our brunch omelets were just so-so. Disappointed since we have enjoyed brunch there before.

E
Washington DC
205 reviews
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Kramer’s is always a fun place for good food and lively conversation. They have live music on the weekends so that was good also. I had the veggie lasagna which was really good. The server was new but did a good job. Kramer’s is always a fun place to go

AD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite spots in DC for sure! They have great alcoholic coffee beverages, the food is wonderful (the burger is awesome and you MUST get dessert if you go here!), and it’s always a lot of fun strolling through the book store with a full stomach.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 3

Bad service, bad food.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on 2 June 2019

Hello, it would be helpful to learn more information about your visit. Please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom

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JC
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on 28 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A nice, bright, not crowded space. Nicely varied menu. The entrees we ordered were tasty

K
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 2

Decent food, cool concept in the bookstore, but terrible service.

MR
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 19 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our favorite spot for brunch in the city! Bloody Mary's are made to perfection. Avocado Toast is taken to a new level with the fried garlic and shishito peppers. We have never had a bad meal here.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very kind people and great service

JM
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

A favorite spot for coffee and dessert with friends

SW
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 17 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite place to visit every time we are in DC. Food is amazing and local. It has items no one else seems to have. Don’t forget the dessert menu.

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